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Denim Day Offers Chance To Help Domestic Violence Center

Students, office workers and administrators across the Santa Clarita Valley will be wearing jeans to work or to school on Wednesday, April 21, as part of a Denim Day observance to protest sexual violence. Participants will be asked to make a voluntary contribution to the local Domestic Violence Center as part of the observance.

Locally, College of the Canyons and the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District are among the participants.

The Denim Day campaign recalls an Italian court case that inspired international outrage when the judges did not convict a rapist because the victim was wearing jeans. The judges ruled that the victim must have consented because she would have to help her assailant remove her tight jeans.

Since then, Denim Day has become a national movement held annually during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. More than 600,000 supporters took part in 2009 and more are expected to participate this year, including high school and college students and employees of leading corporations and businesses.

"We are seeing an increase in violence against women in Santa Clarita that cannot be tolerated," commented Zonta President Cindy Kittle. "In 2009, four of the six murders committed in Santa Clarita were related to domestic violence and 30 women were raped. Already in 2010, we have had two domestic violence murders in Santa Clarita."

Participants on Wednesday are asked to wear their jeans to work and make a donation for that privilege to the SCV Domestic Violence Center. Employees whose companies do not allow them to wear jeans can contact Zonta for a Denim Day pin. Zonta members will collect donations from Denim Day participants and forward them to the local Domestic Violence Center.

Zonta also is asking local residents to support the United Nations SAY NO UNiTE campaign to end violence against women around the world. Supporters can visit the Zonta International Web site at www.zonta.org and click on the blue SAY NO UNiTE button to register a vote against violence with the United Nations.

Donations to the local Domestic Violence Center can be made online at www.domesticviolencecenterscv.org.